My debt started back in 2010. I was offered a full time position which meant i was back in the work force, no more struggle days. At the time i was a single mum of 2 girls and there were times where we would live on 2 minute noodles but made do. So when i was offered a full time position i was stoked! I done the right thing and advised centrelink that i had gone into full time work. They told me that because they were still giving me FTB for the kids i would need to report earnings fortnightly to them. So i did. They would make appointments for me to attend and i would explain to them that unless they are willing to pay my days wage i would not be attending their meeting. We finally came to an agreement of meetings via phone calls. Come EOFY they hit me with a debt of approximately $8,000 because i had not declared the correct amount. I tried on a number of occassions to have it reassessed but it was pushed to the side and payments started to come out of my account before it even reached me. I knew i had done the right thing and reported correctly but continued to pay it off. Then 2015 i went on maternity leave as i had fallen pregnant. So for the time that i had returned back to work after maternity leave for a whole of 5 months before i quit due to bullying and harrassment in the workplace, apparently again i was telling them incorrect amounts and i was hit with another $2,000 robo debt bringing the total debt amounts to approximately $10,000 they claimed they had over paid me. I was making consistent fortnightly payments until EOFY 2019 where i was informed that i was receiving a payment. I was puzzled what the payment was for so i rang them and asked what the payment was being put into my account for? They told me that it was the tax return but they had cleared my outstanding debt with them so only returned a portion of what i was meant to get back. At this point i was furious!! I explained my situation that i left the workplace because of these circumstances and have now become a full time carer looking after my unwell mother so that has financially put us back as a family. We struggle to pay bills, look after kids and sometimes provide food. I told them this had put me into financial hardship i was told that i would have to basically prove to them how i was in hardship. Give them proof. So i did. I told them repayments need to be made, other payments also need to be met and kids needs also. I needed to register my car. That didn't even happen! I sent in all of the information i could gather from receipts of payments and school statements etc. They have not even contacted me. That was about a month ago. NOTHING! It has left our little family in a financial struggle that causes me to have anxiety and has also affected me mentally. I fear the day will come that they will find other ways to put out robo debts and hit me with something else and then i will not be able to provide for my children. They will be left hungry and be unhygienic as everything is going up and the government seems to think we can "manage" well we can't and with this robo debt it causes unnecessary stress, anxiety and mental health issues. I have panic attacks when everything is paid and i have zero left in my account. I think "what if the kids need?? Who do i ask for money??" Why should i have to ask anyone for money for my kids? They are MY responsibility! There are times i can't sleep at night due to my stress levels. I have gotten a sleep disorder since this has all started as i just can't sleep easy thinking all that needs to be paid and with what money? Then to have a lump sum taken away from you without any notification? It's just not right. I understand Australia has a debt to pay but why try and reclaim it through the people that are doing it tough? They are the ones that need the most help. Not a debt to pay. It's an absolute joke!
Our government SUCKS! They need to live a day in the life of a poor man. See how they would survive living out on the streets, begging people for money so they can put some food in their stomachs. There ain't no fancy cars in a poor man's world. It's 2 feet and a heart beat. Most times barefoot or thongs. To not have a roof over their heads at night, no blanket to keep warm, no shower to freshen up then they have the nerve to talk about debts and we get enough money? Who's the one eating out every neal time in fancy restaurants? Not us struggling Australians that's for sure! This all needs to be reassessed and have more consideration for those that are truly struggling. Increased payments would be the first step to success!